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Osteoporosis Associated with Epilepsy and the Use of Anti-Epileptics—a Review


The increased rate of fractures associated with epilepsy has been long recognised but remains incompletely understood. Study quality and study results have varied, with some but not all studies showing bone diseases including osteoporosis and/or osteomalacia, and a high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency are also noted. Falls risk can also be higher in patients with epilepsy taking anti-epileptic medications, potentially leading to fracture. Larger research collaborations are recommended to further advance understanding in this field, particularly to examine underlying genetic and pharmacogenomic associations of epilepsy and anti-epileptic medication usage and its association with bone diseases and fractures, as well as further investigation into optimal management of bone health in epilepsy.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance, •• Of major importance

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Correspondence to Sandra J. Petty.

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Conflict of Interest

Helen Wilding declares no conflict of interest. Sandra J. Petty reports grants from UCB Pharma, grants from Novartis, other from UCB Pharma, outside the submitted work. John D. Wark reports grants from UCB Pharma, grants from Novartis, outside the submitted work.

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This article does not contain any studies with animal subjects performed by any of the authors. All studies performed by the authors’ references in this paper were approved by the relevant institutional human research ethics committee.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Secondary Causes of Osteoporosis

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Petty, S.J., Wilding, H. & Wark, J.D. Osteoporosis Associated with Epilepsy and the Use of Anti-Epileptics—a Review. Curr Osteoporos Rep 14, 54–65 (2016).

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  • Epilepsy
  • Anti-epileptic medication
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fracture risk